A leading scholar in the field of tax law, Joseph Bankman is the author of two widely used casebooks on the subject. His writings on tax policy cover topics such as progressivity, consumption tax and the role of tax in the structure of Silicon Valley start-ups. He has gained wide attention for his work on how government might control the use of tax shelters and has testified before Congress and other legislative bodies on tax compliance problems posed by the cash economy. He has written and spoken extensively on how we might use technology to simplify filing. He also worked with the State of California to create ReadyReturn—a completed tax return prepared by the state that is available to low-income and middle-income taxpayers.
Professor Bankman is a clinical psychologist as well as a lawyer. He teaches mental health law and writes on the intersection of law and psychology. He has developed a course on anxiety psychoeducation that has been taught at Stanford and Yale Law Schools, and written on how insights from social psychology might be used in the effort to reduce tax evasion.